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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract - Soil & Water Management & Conservation

Fertilization Scenarios in Sprinkler-Irrigated Corn under Mediterranean Conditions: Effects on Greenhouse Gas Emissions

 

This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 80 No. 3, p. 662-671
     
    Received: Aug 05, 2015
    Accepted: Feb 28, 2016
    Published: June 24, 2016


    * Corresponding author(s): jorgeaf@eead.csic.es
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doi:10.2136/sssaj2015.04.0156
  1. Jorge Álvaro-Fuentes *a,
  2. José Luis Arrúea,
  3. Carlos Cantero-Martínezb,
  4. Ramón Islac,
  5. Daniel Plaza-Bonillad and
  6. Dolores Quíleze
  1. a Dep. de Suelo y Agua Estación Experimental de Aula Dei Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (EEAD-CSIC) P.O. Box 13034 50080 Zaragoza Spain
    b Dep. de Prod. Vegetal y Ciencia Forestal Unidad Asociada EEAD-CSIC Univ. de Lleida Avda. Rovira Roure 191 28198 Lleida Spain
    c Unidad de Suelos y Riegos Unidad Asociada EEAD-CSIC Centro de Investigación y Tecnología Agroalimentaria de Aragón (CITA) Avda. Montañana 930 50059 Zaragoza Spain
    d Dep. de Suelo y Agua Estación Experimental de Aula Dei Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (EEAD-CSIC) P.O. Box 13034 50080 Zaragoza Spain and INRA, UMR-AGIR 24 Chemin de Borde Rouge–Auzeville CS 52627 31326 Castanet Tolosan cedex France
    e Unidad de Suelos y Riegos Unidad Asociada EEAD-CSIC Centro de Investigación y Tecnología Agroalimentaria de Aragón (CITA) Avda. Montañana 930 50059 Zaragoza Spain
Core Ideas:
  • Soil GHG emissions were quantified in four fertilization scenarios in irrigated corn.
  • Fertilization scenarios had minor effect on CO2 and CH4 emissions.
  • Soil mineral N level affected N2O emissions and yield-scaled N2O emissions.

Abstract

Agricultural soils emit greenhouse gases (GHG). Excessive application of N fertilizer may lead to the accumulation of mineral N in the soil, which is susceptible to loss to the environment. The objective of this study was to quantify the effect of two levels of available mineral N before planting (L, low; H, high) and two rates of NH4NO3 fertilizer (0 and 300 kg N ha−1) on soil CH4, CO2, and N2O emissions in a sprinkler-irrigated corn (Zea mays L.) field located in northeastern Spain during two growing seasons (2011 and 2012). For both soil N levels at planting, several sampling dates showed higher N2O emissions in the 300 kg N ha−1 treatment than the 0 kg N ha−1 treatment. Applications of N fertilizer resulted in a short-lived increase of N2O emitted. Differences among fertilization treatments were found for soil CO2 emissions in 2011 and for soil N2O emissions in 2011 and 2012. No differences were found between treatments for CH4. In the 2012 season, the application of 300 kg N ha−1 in the L scenario reduced N2O yield-scaled emissions (g N2O-N kg−1 aboveground N uptake) by 30% due to a significant increase in corn yield (7.6 Mg grain ha−1) compared with the treatment without N. Conversely, under the H scenario, N application doubled yield-scaled N2O emissions. Results of this study demonstrate that fertilization strategies need to take into account mineral N levels in the soil before sowing to reduce GHG emissions during the growing season.

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